Saturday, May 4, 2019

May 5 Radio History

➦In 1899...Freeman Fisher born in Richmond, VA (Died – December 10, 1982).  He wasa radio comedian, actor and pioneer in the development of the situation comedy form. He is best known for his work for the radio series Amos 'n' Andy.

 During World War I he served in the United States Navy as a wireless operator, which prompted his great interest in the young medium of radio. While attending school in Richmond, Gozzie worked part-time in Tarrant's Drug Store at 1 West Broad Street.

Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll
In 1921, Gosden first teamed up with Charles Correll to do radio work, presenting comedy acts, sketches, and hosting variety shows. They met in Durham, North Carolina, both working for the Joe Bren Producing Company. Their first regular show came in 1925 with their WEBH Chicago show Correll and Gosden, the Life of the Party. On this show the two told jokes, sang, and played music (Correll played piano and Gosden banjo).

In 1926, Gosden and Correll had a hit with their radio show Sam & Henry on Chicago radio station WGN. Sam & Henry is considered by some historians to have been the first situation comedy.

From 1928 to 1960, Gosden and Correll broadcast their Amos 'n' Andy show, which was one of the most famous and popular shows on radio in the 1930s. Gosden voiced the characters "Amos", "George 'Kingfish' Stevens", "Lightning", "Brother Crawford", and some dozen other characters.

In 1969, Gosden was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio. He died from congestive heart failure in Los Angeles, California in 1982 at the age of 83

➦In 1900...The music and enterinment magazine The Billboard began weekly publication after six years as a monthly. The name was later shortened to Billboard.

Perry Como - circa Early '40s
➦In 1970...Entertainer Perry Como recorded the song “It’s Impossible.” When it peaked a few months later at #10 on the pop music chart, it meant Perry had notched hits in four consecutive decades – the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.

➦In 2008...John R. Gambling rejoins WOR 710 AM NYC.

When WOR ended Rambling with Gambling in 2000 after 75 years on the air, John R. Gambling moved up the dial to WABC, taking over the post-morning-drive 10 a.m. - noon slot. Gambling was fired by WABC on February 29, 2008 in a cost-cutting move.  On April 30, 2008, WOR announced the return of John R. Gambling to its air waves in his old morning-drive time slot.

Chicago Radio: Stylz, Roman Morning Show OUT At WUSN

Chicago personalities Doug Stylz and Justin Roman are no longer waking up as morning co-hosts at Entercom's Country WUSN 99.5-FM.

Chicago Media watcher Robert Feder reports Friday was their last day on the air at the Entercom country music station. A search is underway for their replacement, according to Jimmy deCastro, senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago.

Stylz and Roman both started as promotion interns at CHR WBBM 96.3-FM before they were teamed as evening co-hosts in 2004. Two years later they moved up to afternoon drive at B96.

In 2016 they surprised the market and their fans when they shifted to US99, replacing Lisa Dent and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens. But the duo never approached the high ratings they enjoyed at B96, according to Feder.

CT Radio: Staff Changes Unveiled At WICC, WEBE

With an agreement to operate WEBE 107.9 FM and WICC 600 AM as of May 1st, Connoisseur Media has announced staffing changes.

➤Melissa Sheketoff, who grew up in Southern Connecticut, joins Tony Reno for the newly anointed “Tony and Melissa Show” on 600 WICC in morning drive. Melissa will be handling news duties as well as co-hosting the show.

“Being part of the iconic morning show on WICC is a dream come true,”commented Melissa, “starting as an intern 11 years ago and making my way back here is the greatest blessing, not to mention being friends with Tony throughout the years”.

➤Afternoons on 600 WICC returns to local talk for the first time in years. Market veteran Paul Pacelli, starting on May 13th, will host a 2pm-6pm call-in show. Former Waterbury Republican and CT Post newspaper writer, Aaron Johnson, comes on board to produce and provide local sports content.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be on board at a heritage powerhouse like WICC, a station synonymous with greater Bridgeport and Southwestern Connecticut,” Paul said, “my goal is to present a passionate, entertaining and vital platform for local newsmakers, personalities and residents.”

“For a station like WICC to have continued success on the AM dial it needs to fully embrace the community,” commented Operations Manager Keith Dakin, “we want to make this station come alive on all levels from podcasting to social to an on air product that the Bridgeport community can be proud to call their own.”

➤Legendary WEBE 108 FM morning man, “Stormin” Norman returns to his home of 30 years. Norman famously held down mornings for decades on the AC station and, starting Monday, will return to that post.

“WEBE 108 has been my radio home for most of my adult life, and I am thrilled to again wake up families in Southern Connecticut,” Norm declared, “It’s a great opportunity to work with Jeff Warshaw and the incredible folks at local Connoisseur Media”.

Danny Lyons, Program Director, will continue to handle middays and Jay Michaels will move from mornings to afternoons to make way for Norman.

“Growing up in Connecticut and having worked at WEBE/WICC for many years, I am extremely motivated to increase the localism, passion and a commitment to the community on these stations “ said SVP/General Manager Kristin Okesson, “with the return of Norm, the additions of Paul and Melissa, plus the talent staff already on board, I think the future continues to be very bright for these radio stations.”

Confirmed: Sinclair To Acquire Regional Sports Nets

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has reached a deal it valued at $10.6 billion to buy 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The purchase price would be $9.6 billion after adjusting for minority equity interests and includes a $864 million termination fee payable to Disney, Sinclair said.

The sports networks were part of Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s major entertainment assets. Disney agreed to sell them to pave the way for that deal’s approval.

In 2018, the regional sports networks portfolio had $3.8 billion in revenue.

The networks would be acquired, subject to approval from the Justice Department, by a newly formed, wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair called Diamond Sports Group LLC.

Comedian-turned-media-entrepreneur Byron Allen will be an equity and content partner in RSN Holding Company, Diamond’s indirect parent.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the companies had struck a deal for the 21 networks and that Sinclair had separately partnered with the New York Yankees to acquire the YES Network, another of the networks once controlled by Fox.

The YES Network sale, which hasn’t been completed but would be valued at $3.45 billion, also includes Inc. as a partner, the Journal reported.

Other suitors for the regional sports networks included Liberty Media Corp. and Big 3 Basketball LLC, whose management includes entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz and rapper and actor Ice Cube.

1.1M Cut The Cord During 1Q 2019

Dish, Spectrum, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon have lost over 1.1 million TV subscribers in just 3 months.

According to Cord Cutter News,Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have reported their first quarter 2019 numbers with over 900,000 people canceled their pay-TV service. AT&T also announced that DIRECTV NOW lost 83,000 subscribers in the 1st quarter of 2019. This is compared to the 4th quarters of 2018 when DIRECTV NOW lost 267,000 subscribers.

Now Dish Network has also reported a loss of 259,000 TV customers in the 1st quarter of 2019. (That includes a slight increase in Sling TV subscribers.) The good news for Dish is that losses have slowed slightly compared to 334,000 lost TV subscribers in the 4th quarter of 2018.

AT&T is seeing the biggest drop in subscribers as 554,000 TV subscribers canceled DIRECTV, U-verse, and DIRECTV NOW in the 1st quarter of 2019. Overall with just Dish, Spectrum, Comcast, and AT&T reporting over 1.1 million Americans have canceled cable TV. That number includes DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV subscribers. This means most new cord cutters are not coming back to streaming services offered by Dish and AT&T.

This is just the start of the 1st quarter earnings reports. There are still many major cable TV companies out there that have yet to report. This likely means that cord cutting will have a record-setting 1st quarter.

Click Here For  5 sites where you can get streaming TV shows, movies for free

NOLA Bloodbath: Entire Times-Picayune Staff Fired

The Newhouse family has sold the 182-year-old daily The Times-Picayune and its Web site, nola, to a scrappy New Orleans competitor, and the entire staff is being laid off. That has stirred worries across the other papers in the family’s Advance Publications empire.

According to The NYPost, a total of 161 staff members are being laid off, according to a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, which listed 65 reporter and editor jobs.

John and Dathel Georges, the husband-and-wife team that owns the rival New Orleans Advocate, are buying The Times-Picayune from Newhouse’s Advance Local, which has owned it since 1962.

The Advocate plans to publish a seven-days-a-week paper using both brands on the masthead starting in early June and will merge both websites under

Stunned Times-Picayune staffers heard they were being laid off late Thursday.

The Times-Picayune reported weekday circulation of only 83,860 and weekend circulation of 88,538, compared with a 257,000 circulation before Hurricane Katrina flooded the city in 2005.

Advocate Publisher Dan Shea says he will hire some of the laid-off staffers, but could not say how many.

Apple Looks To Double Its Service Business

While Apple is still widely considered a hardware company, its services segment, including Apple Music, Apple Pay, the iTunes and App Store among other things, has grown into a huge business in recent years.

So big in fact that it is now the company's second largest source of revenue.

According to its latest earnings report, services accounted for 20 percent of Apple's total revenue between January and March, trailing only the iPhone which accounted for 54 percent of total sales.

Having been considered a tool to keep consumers locked in Apple’s universe and ultimately improve hardware sales for many years, recent statements and actions indicate that Apple has started embracing services as an opportunity of its own rather than an instrument to sell more iPhones. Bringing Apple Music to Amazon Echo devices and Apple TV streaming to smart TVs would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago, as it goes contrary to Apple’s (in)famous walled garden approach.

Apple's declared goal is to double its services business between 2016 and 2020. As the following chart shows, the company is on track to achieve that goal.

Infographic: Apple's Services Revenue Reaches All-Time High | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Poynter Pulls Back On 'UnNews" Blacklist

The Poynter Institute has apologized for publishing a list of 515 news websites it deemed "unreliable" after backlash from readers and on social media regarding "weaknesses in the methodology" used by the nonprofit publication, reports The Hill.

The index was compiled from “fake news” databases curated by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at University of Southern California, Merrimack University, PolitiFact, Snopes and data designer Chris Herbert. Publications originally on the list included the Washington Examiner and the Washington Free Beacon.

"Soon after we published, we received complaints from those on the list and readers who objected to the inclusion of certain sites, and the exclusion of others," Poynter managing editor Barbara Allen wrote in an explanation behind the piece that was pulled off the site on Thursday.

“We regret that we failed to ensure that the data was rigorous before publication, and apologize for the confusion and agitation caused by its publication,” Allen added. “We pledge to continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards."

Allen said that Poynter launched the audit to test the veracity of the list and that while it felt that many of the sites "did have a track record of publishing unreliable information," the review also "found weaknesses in the methodology."

The language in the original story also called on advertisers to "blacklist" the sites selected for the list.

"Fake news is a business. Much of that business is ad-supported,” Poynter researcher Barrett Golding wrote in the report. “Aside from journalists, researchers and news consumers, we hope that the index will be useful for advertisers that want to stop funding misinformation.”

May 4 Radio History

➦In 1886...The graphophone, the  bridge between the earlier gramophone and the modern phonograph, was patented, featuring wax cylinders which conducted music better than Thomas Edison's original tinfoil ones.

It was invented at the Volta Laboratory established by Alexander Graham Bell in Washington, D.C., United States.

Its trademark usage was acquired successively by the Volta Graphophone Company, then the American Graphophone Company, the North American Phonograph Company, and finally by the Columbia Phonograph Company (later to become Columbia Records), all of which either produced or sold Graphophones.

It took five years of research under the directorship of Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell at the Volta Laboratory to develop and distinguish their machine from Thomas Edison's phonograph.

Among their other innovations, the researchers experimented with lateral recording techniques as early as 1881. Contrary to the vertically-cut grooves of Edison phonographs, the lateral recording method used a cutting stylus that moved from side to side in a "zig zag" pattern across the record. While cylinder phonographs never employed the lateral cutting process commercially, this was later to become the primary method of phonograph disc recording.

Bell and Tainter also developed wax-coated cardboard cylinders for their record cylinders, instead of Edison's cast iron cylinder which was covered with a removable film of tinfoil (the actual recording medium) which was prone to damage during installation or removal.  Tainter received a separate patent for a tube assembly machine to automatically produce the coiled cardboard tubes which served as the foundation for the wax cylinder records. The shift from tinfoil to wax resulted in increased sound fidelity as well as record longevity.

Besides being far easier to handle, the wax recording medium also allowed for lengthier recordings and created superior playback quality. Additionally the Graphophones initially deployed foot treadles to rotate the recordings, then wind-up clockwork drive mechanisms, and finally migrated to electric motors, instead of the manual crank that was used on Edison's phonograph.

➦In 1922...KNX-AM, Los Angeles, California signed-on.

KNX began as a five-watt amateur radio station, 6ADZ, which Fred Christian put on the air on September 10, 1920, broadcasting on a wavelength of 200 meters (1500 kHz). In December 1921, the station moved to 360 meters (833 kHz) and became KGC, sharing time with other stations that broadcast on the same frequency.   On May 4, 1922, the station increased power to 50 watts and became KNX. Power was raised to 100 watts in 1923. A year later, Fred Christian sold KNX to Guy Earle, owner of the Los Angeles Evening Express.

During the 1920s KNX, like most stations across the country, changed frequencies several times, landing on 1050 AM as a result of the Federal Radio Commission's reconfigurations of the AM radio band in 1927 and 1928. In 1929, the station's transmitter was upgraded from 500 to 5,000 watts, and in 1932, was raised to 10,000 watts of power. During this time, the station changed owners and was then operated by the Western Broadcast Company. In 1933, the station moved its studios to another part of Hollywood, and was granted permission by the FCC to raise its output to 25,000 watts. The following year, KNX's transmitting power was raised to the nationwide maximum of 50,000 watts, which the station continues presently. It changed to its current 1070 AM channel in 1941.

Broadcasting ad 1935
CBS purchased and began operating KNX as its West Coast flagship station in 1936, ending an eight-year affiliation with KHJ.  In 1938, the CBS Columbia Square studios were dedicated for KNX as well as West Coast operations for the entire CBS radio network.

George Burns, Gracie Allen
Several legendary performers from the Golden Age of American network radio broadcast from there, including Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, George Burns, Edgar Bergen,  and situation comedy star Bob Crane, who was KNX morning man between 1957 and 1965 at the same time he was appearing as a featured supporting player on the ABC television network's The Donna Reed Show.

KNX was a strong competitor in the Los Angeles market while Crane was a morning personality, but began declining in popularity after he left to star in the CBS television series Hogan's Heroes. Following the example of corporate sister station WCBS in New York City, which had enjoyed renewed success with an all-news format, KNX then became an all-news station in the spring of 1968;  its first major breaking news coverage was of the assassination of Democratic Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, in June of that year.

Bob Crane
In August 2005, KNX moved out of Columbia Square after operating there for 67 years, and began broadcasting from new studios in the Miracle Mile district on Wilshire Boulevard.

In 2009, KNX adopted the slogan "All News, All the Time." It was previously used for 40 years by KFWB, KNX's historic rival in the news radio wars before both became sister stations through the 1995 merger of Westinghouse Electric (KFWB's owner) and CBS. KFWB's format change to news-talk in September 2009 now leaves KNX the only all-news outlet in the Los Angeles area, which is now emphasized in its alternate slogan, "L.A.'s only all-news radio station".

➦In 1957...The "Alan Freed Show," prime-time network television's first rock 'n' roll program, debuted on ABC. The first show in the series featured performances by Guy Mitchell, the Dell-Vikings, the Clovers, Sal Mineo, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

➦In 1965...Norman Brokenshire died from a stroke at age 66. (Born - June 10, 1898).  He was nicknamed: "Sir Silken Speech" and was a familiar radio voice in the 1940s, heard as an announcer on such programs as Theatre Guild on the Air. He was the first radio announcer to break from anonymity and use his name on the air.

Norman Brokenshire - 1953
Brokenshire's broadcasting career began in 1924 at WJZ, where he immediately attracted attention. The New York Herald Tribune asked, "Who is this new AON? He speaks with perfect enunciation and exceptional modulation." That same year, he became the first announcer to cover a political convention when he worked the Democrats' meeting in New York.

In the summer of 1927, Brokenshire had his own program, A Half Hour With Norman Brokenshire on WPG.

Brokenshire was known for his folksy greeting, "How do you do, ladies and gentlemen, how do you do." By 1947, he was earning $50,000 annually.

Old-time radio programs for which Brokenshire was the announcer included The Chesterfield Hour, Eddie Cantor's Follies, Inner Sanctum Mystery, and Major Bowes Amateur Hour.

In 1961, Brokenshire returned to radio "after an absence of some years, ... doing commercials on radio station WMMM in Westport, Conn."

➦In 1975...Dick "Two Ton" Baker died (Born - May 2, 1916) He was a prominent Chicago radio and television personality for three decades; the 1940s to the 1960s.

Baker's full-time professional entertaining career began in 1938, playing for night clubs with notable dates at the Chicago Theatre and the Riverside in Milwaukee. In 1939 he began a job as a disc jockey at radio station WJJD with a two-hour show entitled Sunday Morning Party. It was early in his radio career that he was given the entertainment name "Two Ton" by a fellow radio-station employee. He quit WJJD in 1943 and concentrated on his nightclub work, but he was given his own radio show, One Man Show, on station WGN in 1944. For the next several years Baker was closely associated with that station, and vice versa.

"Two Ton" Baker performing with Bubbles the porpoise from the Chicago children's television show The Happy Pirates
Baker was part of WGN-TV's grand opening show on April 5, 1948.  The next day was WGN's first full day of programming which included Baker's show Wonder House, a puppet program hosted in conjunction with Art Nelson.

Baker gained national radio exposure when The Two Ton Baker Show, originating from WGN, was carried across the Mutual network.

➦In 1981...“Rockline” premiered on KLOS 95.5  FM in Los Angeles

➦In 2008... John Eastman, a former Tampa radio and television TV personality who successfully sued two tobacco companies for contributing to his nicotine addiction, died Sunday at age 79.

John Eastman
Eastman had a popular radio show on WDAE in the 1970s and a morning talk show on WTSP, Channel 10. In 2005, he collected more than $3.2 million from Philip Morris USA and the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. It was the first time that Philip Morris, the world’s largest cigarette maker, paid a judgment in an individual case. Eastman was known as “The Dean of Tampa Bay Talk Radio.”

He started his broadcast career in the early 1950s as an announcer at a Sioux City, Iowa, radio station. He worked at radio stations in Cedar Rapids,; Jacksonville;, Mobile, Ala.,; Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. By the 1960s he was in Miami, where he worked at WIOD, WAME and WINZ (with CNN’s Larry King). He came to Tampa in 1977, and his “Talk of the Town” radio show, about a local issues and personalities, was a hit for two years on WDAE. He then went to WPLP radio, and in 1980 he began hosting “The John Eastman Show,” which ran on WTSP, Channel 10, for four years.

His career in radio and TV ended in the 1990 after he was diagnosed with emphysema, which robbed him of his voice. In 1997, he filed suit against Philip Morris USA and the Brown & Williamson. Tobacco Corp. By the time a jury ruled in his favor in 2003, he said he was living on Social Security and a small military pension.

➦In 2010...Ernie Harwell died of cancer at age 92 (Born January 25, 1918). He was a sportscaster, known for his long career calling play-by-play of Major League Baseball games.

After graduating from college, Harwell worked as a copy editor and sportswriter for the Atlanta Constitution. In 1943, he began announcing games for the Crackers on WSB radio, after which he served four years in the United States Marine Corps.

Ernie Harwell
For 55 seasons, 42 of them with the Detroit Tigers, Harwell called the action on radio and/or television. In 1948, Harwell became the only announcer in baseball history to be traded for a player when the Brooklyn Dodgers' general manager, Branch Rickey, traded catcher Cliff Dapper to the Crackers in exchange for breaking Harwell's broadcasting contract. (Harwell was brought to Brooklyn to substitute for regular Dodger announcer Red Barber, who was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer.)

Harwell broadcast for the Dodgers through 1949, the New York Giants from 1950-53, and the Baltimore Orioles from 1954-59. Early in his career, he also broadcast The Masters golf tournament,as well as pro and college football.

In January 2009, the American Sportscasters Association ranked Harwell 16th on its list of Top 50 Sportscasters of All Time.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Milwaukee Radio: Steve Czaban Returns Monday

WRNW 97.3 The Game, Milwaukee’s Sports Talk That Rocks, announced today the launch of “The Steve Czaban Show” effective May 6. “The Steve Czaban Show” will broadcast weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Steve Czaban
Starring Steve Czaban, the new morning show will feature the latest national and local sports headlines as well a variety of topics and news that matter most to the Milwaukee community.

Czaban is a seasoned sports talk on-air radio personality with over two decades of experience. He most recently served as an on-air talent with the “Bob & Brian” show on WHQG-FM. In addition, he has broadcast on several syndicated sports talk networks including Sporting News, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, Yahoo Sports Radio and SB Nation Radio.

Line-Up for The Game
“The chance for me to do more in Milwaukee was too good to pass up,” said Czaban. “This is exactly the style and attitude of sports radio that I love to do. Nobody hustles in front of a winning parade better than me! I plan to celebrate the highs, curse the lows and laugh at all the absurdity in between – just like I’ve always done. The program lineup at The Game is amazing and I’m humbled to be a part of it.”

“This is the most exciting thing to happen in Milwaukee sports radio in my 30 years in the market,” said Kerry Wolfe, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Milwaukee. “iHeartMedia is all about attracting the very best on-air talent and I’m excited to add Czaban to our thriving program lineup. As a sports radio veteran, I know he will contribute to making 97.3 The Game a top radio station choice in Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin.”

With the launch of “The Steve Czaban Show” to mornings, the “Drew & KB” show will move to afternoons and broadcast from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The complete 97.3 The Game program lineup is available now on the station’s website.

Shake-Up: Gayle King Remains, Goodbye To Norah O'Donnell

Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King
Norah O’Donnell is officially out as co-host of the struggling CBS This Morning — thanks to Gayle King.

The NYPost reports the new anchor lineup for “CBS This Morning” has been set and it doesn’t include O’Donnell because King — riding high off her big interview with R. Kelly — has demanded she be sent elsewhere.

“Norah is toxic,” a CBS insider said, explaining that the anchor is difficult to work with and is seen as having aided rumors about the impending exit of Jeff Glor, anchor of “CBS Evening News,” in her bid for his job.

According to The Post, the blood is so bad between the morning news co-hosts that King demanded O’Donnell be moved off the show as part of her recent contract negotiations, which kicked off after her now-infamous Kelly interview, the source said.

O’Donnell is still a coveted name at CBS, however, and has been offered a job that includes a chief political anchor role at the network in addition to Glor’s job as anchor of “CBS Evening News,” The Post has learned. She will also continue to appear on “60 Minutes,” a source said.

Glor, who has struggled to improve on the show’s third-place ranking, will likely be offered a correspondent or weekend anchor role, the source said.

CBS News president Susan Zirinsky denied that King had anything to do with O’Donnell leaving the morning show, which has fallen in the ratings since Charlie Rose was ousted over sexual harassment claims in 2017.

Besides King, the new morning show lineup includes “CBS This Morning Saturday” co-anchor Anthony Mason and CBS News correspondents Tony Dokoupil, a source said.

“CBS This Morning” co-host John Dickerson will move to “60 Minutes” in a political role.

Meanwhile, King has succeeded in her demands for her pay be bumped to more than double her current $5.5 million salary, sources said.

CBS News is forcefully denying the Post report that “CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King demanded management remove her co-anchor Norah O'Donnell.

“This headline is offensive and 100 percent false," CBS News President Susan Zirinsky said in a Thursday statement, referring to the Post story titled “Gayle King pushes out Norah O’Donnell at ‘CBS This Morning.’”

CBS Misses Revenue Estimates, D2C Streaming Revenue Increases

CBS Corp. said the Super Bowl bolstered its advertising results, helping push up its first-quarter profit, but the media company missed revenue expectations amid a weaker performance in its cable networks business, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The advertising gains highlight the importance of live sports for CBS’s broadcast operations. Executives have already started discussing a new deal with the National Football League, even though its deal with the league runs through 2022. That CBS is already positioning itself so far ahead of its deal’s expiration points to the power of NFL content.

The New York-based company on Thursday also said revenue from its direct-to-consumer streaming services reached a record level, with subscribers to its CBS All Access product and its Showtime OTT streaming service growing 71% from a year earlier.

Joe Ianniello
During a conference call, CBS acting Chief Executive Joe Ianniello said the company plans to spend $8 billion on programming in 2019, putting the company on par with other major networks and direct-to-consumer streaming services.

“The driving force behind our direct-to-consumer services—and our entire company—is our premium, must-have content,” Mr. Ianniello said.

Later during the call, CBS Interactive President Jim Lanzone touted the growth of CBS All Access, adding that two-thirds of subscribers are opting to view a limited amount of commercials.

He also said the vast majority of subscribers to CBS All Access aren’t so-called cord-cutters, viewers that have abandoned traditional pay-TV.

“We definitely don’t view it as a zero-sum game,” he said.

Mr. Ianniello said he expects CBS to continue to benefit from the legalization of sports betting, which has begun on a state-by-state basis since a Supreme Court decision last year that struck down a federal law banning the practice.

First Quarter 2019 Results
  • Revenues for the 1Q of 2019 increased 11% to $4.17 billion from $3.76 billion for the same prior-year period. 
  • Advertising revenues grew 18%, driven by the broadcast of Super Bowl LIII. 
  • Affiliate and subscription fee revenues rose 13%, led by growth in the Company’s direct-to-consumer streaming services, fees from CBS Television Network affiliated stations and retransmission revenues, including from virtual MVPDs. 
  • Content licensing and distribution revenues decreased 3%.
  • Operating income for the first quarter of 2019 increased to $1.23 billion from $772 million.
  • Net earnings for the first quarter of 2019 were $1.58 billion compared with $511 million.

CBS Brass Talk-Up Streaming

Streaming dominated Thursday’s CBS conference call with analysts to discuss first-quarter results.

While the quarter did not quite meet Wall Street expectations, CBS All Access and Showtime marked a seventh straight quarter of dynamic growth, and CBS digital chief Jim Lanzone joined the call to offer more color on the company’s plans.

While Disney, WarnerMedia, Apple and NBCUniversal are all readying new streaming launches, the CBS team emphasized their experience in the streaming space, dating back to carriage of the Final Four in the 2000s, the Super Bowl in 2011 and the launch of CBS All Access in 2014.

According to Deadline, CBS All Access and Showtime are projected by the company to have a combined 25 million subscribers by 2022. They saw a 71% gain in the quarter, the biggest subscriber jump in their brief history.

Asked about whether the company would consider merging or more tightly bundling the two services, both executives demurred. Lanzone said there would be no “back-end” reason to make such a move, so the main consideration would be in terms of marketing the services and acquiring customers. But “we already offer them as up-sells to the user base,” he said. “So far, to date, the user bases are differentiated somewhat.” Even so, he did acknowledge, “We are looking at it.”

Acting CEO Joe Ianniello was a bit firmer in support of the status quo. “The consumer wants optionality, we’re giving them optionality,” he said. “If we combine them, we feel we could have less subscribers.”

L-A Radio: KABC To Air USC Football, Hoops

USC has signed a 5-year agreement with KABC 790 AM to be the radio home of Trojan football and men’s basketball, USC athletic director Lynn Swann announced today (May 2).

USC will be the main sports property for KABC, which is part of Cumulus Media.

USC’s games will also be available via live stream on, as well as on the TuneIn Radio app and on SiriusXM satellite radio. KABC also will carry the popular “Trojans Live” Monday evening show featuring USC coaches and athletics. 

“We are very excited to be partnering with KABC to bring our football and men’s basketball game radio broadcasts to all of our fans throughout Southern California,” said Swann. 

“This is a wonderful pairing of organizations with long and strong traditions of success.  A powerful station like KABC will help us strengthen the USC brand over the airwaves and bring great Trojan content to fans, supporters and alumni throughout the region.  We are extremely proud to be the showcased sports property on KABC.  It was important to us that our radio partner is without other team conflicts, thereby making USC its sports priority.”

Drew Hayes, Interim General Manager, KABC, said: “We are thrilled to partner with USC as the new radio broadcast home of Trojan football and men’s basketball and look forward to bringing the very best sports programming to passionate Trojan fans. With KABC’s powerhouse signal, and USC’s powerhouse teams, more Southern California sports fans than ever will enjoy the ultimate in sports programming. Our entire team is excited to be able to broadcast and live stream Trojans games, as well as the weekly Trojans Live Monday evening coaches’ show on KABC.”

Since 2006, USC football and men’s basketball game radio broadcasts had aired on KSPN 710 AM.

AM 790 KABC, which previously served as the flagship station for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Kings, serves all of Southern California with its 6,600-watt signal.

Entercom Launching New Digital Sports Shows

Entercom has  formally unveiled two original digital shows on RADIO.COM Sports titled “Big Time Basketball” and “Big Time Baseball.”

Both new shows feature expert analysis from RADIO.COM Sports Insiders providing the most up-to-date news, commentary and happenings in basketball and baseball, respectively. 

“Big Time Basketball” is hosted by Brian Scalabrine and Matt Steinmetz. Scalabrine is a former NBA player and coach and a current television commentator for the Boston Celtics. Steinmetz is an on-air host at 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, an Entercom station. New episodes of “Big Time Basketball” debut on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the NBA Draft. 

“Big Time Baseball” is hosted by Jon Heyman, veteran play-by-play voice, Josh Lewin, and a rotation of guest hosts. Featured guests include fellow Sports Insiders Joe Girardi and Bob Nightengale, with others to be announced. New episodes debut every Monday and Thursday through the end of the MLB post-season.

In addition to Scalabrine and Heyman, RADIO.COM Sports also announced the addition of football insiders, including Michael Irvin, Hall of Fame wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys and current analyst on NFL Network, Brian Baldinger, former NFL offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles and current analyst on NFL Network’s “Total Access” and Eliot Shorr-Parks. He is a Philadelphia Eagles insider and creator and founder of “Go Birds” podcast on RADIO.COM.

Additionally, Shorr-Parks and Baldinger will host a weekly football digital show which will debut with the off-season in review on Tuesday, May 14th.

“With the addition of these three new shows, RADIO.COM Sports continues to expand our digital content offering for fans across the country,” said Mike Dee, President of Sports, Entercom. “We look forward to continuing to build the RADIO.COM Sports digital platform with more native content in the weeks and months ahead.” 

ESPN Names MNF Talent For 50th Anniversary

Play-by-play voice Joe Tessitore, analyst Booger McFarland and reporter Lisa Salters will make their debut as ESPN’s new NFL commentator team when Monday Night Football kicks off its 50th season this fall.

Tessitore, McFarland and Salters – joined by new Officiating Analyst John Parry – will kick off the 2019 regular season on Monday, September 9 when the New Orleans Saints host the Houston Texans (7 p.m. ET) as part of ESPN’s opening-night doubleheader.

This fall, McFarland will move from his field-level analyst position in 2018 to the booth, alongside Tessitore.

“Booger’s insight, personality and passion for the game make him the right person for the job. He and Joe have been close friends since they helped ESPN launch the SEC Network five years ago. Their chemistry together in the booth – and with Lisa – will give us a team that fans want to spend Monday nights with this fall,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN Executive Vice President, Event and Studio Production.

Joe Tessitore
Joe Tessitore

In 2018, Joe Tessitore became just the sixth person to occupy the coveted MNF play-by-play position after working as a premier broadcaster on ESPN and ABC college football games for the better part of two decades. Highly versatile and one of the top game-callers in sports, Tessitore is also the lead blow-by-blow ringside commentator for Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.

Tessitore: “We’re all excited to kick off the 50th season of Monday Night Football and I am especially happy for Booger whose unique talent and uncommon perspective will now be showcased even more prominently in his new role. With Lisa and the addition of Super Bowl referee John Parry, our goal is simple: serve the fan by documenting the event and celebrating the game as best we can.”

Booger McFarland
Booger McFarland

Two-time Super Bowl champion Booger McFarland joined MNF in 2018 after serving as a college football analyst for four years on ESPN, ABC and the SEC Network. Widely praised for his football insights and gregarious persona, McFarland regularly contributes to a variety of studio programs and he was part of ESPN and ABC’s NFL Draft coverage last week in Nashville.

McFarland: “I’m so excited to continue to be part of Monday Night Football, especially with the opportunity to be in booth for the 50th season, working with true professionals and friends like Joe and Lisa. We have a great slate of games and I look forward to starting our journey in Louisiana, where I was born and raised, with the Texans-Saints game in early September.”

Lisa Salters
Lisa Salters

Lisa Salters, who has signed a new multi-year ESPN extension, will return for her eighth MNF season this fall. An Emmy-winning reporter with more than two decades of experience, Salters is a sideline reporter for both MNF and NBA games on ESPN and ABC, as well as a featured correspondent for the award-winning E:60 newsmagazine.

Salters: “It continues to be my privilege to be a part of the MNF team. Tess and Booger are both a pleasure to work with – and will prove to be the perfect duo to lead us forward.”

WCVB Boston Sports Anchor Mike Lynch To Semi-Retire

Mike Lynch
WCVB Channel 5’s longtime, principal Sports Anchor, Mike Lynch, has announced his plan to retire from anchoring SportsCenter 5 in August.

However,  Lynch isn’t leaving the Channel 5 family and will transition to part-time as a special, sports correspondent. Lynch, who is fondly referred to as “Lynchie” by his fans and colleagues, was named the Massachusetts Sportscaster of the Year an unprecedented 16 times and has been an integral part of WCVB’s SportsCenter 5 team for more than 37 years.

“After nearly forty years at WCVB, I’ve decided it’s time to step away from the daily anchoring of SportsCenter 5. But it’s not goodbye…I’m looking forward to remaining in the sports mix at the station, working on special assignments, major sporting events, ‘High 5,’ and the annual ‘High 5: Salute to Thanksgiving Heroes,” said Lynch when making the announcement. “In my new role as a correspondent, I very much look forward to bringing the same energy and enthusiasm to all of these assignments. Working in the greatest sports town where I grew up, and covering so many memorable championships and iconic moments for SportsCenter 5, has been a true privilege and a career I will always treasure.”

“Mike is unquestionably the Dean of Boston sports broadcasting, and it’s difficult to imagine WCVB’s sports coverage without Lynchie at the helm,” said Bill Fine, WCVB Channel 5 President and General Manager.

“Mike is a legendary sports journalist in Boston who brought unmatched access, expertise, and insight as SportsCenter 5’s principal anchor,” said Paige Harrison, WCVB Channel 5 News Director.

Lynch joined WCVB Channel 5 as weekend sports anchor in March 1982, and he was promoted to principal Sports Anchor in September 1985 and has led the SportsCenter 5 team ever since.

Nashville Radio: WGFX’s Jonathan Hutton Named 'Man of the Year'

Cumulus Media announces that Jonathan Hutton, Tennessee Titans Radio Host and On-Air Personality for WGFX 104-5 The Zone has been named 2019 Man of the Year for the Tennessee Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 

Hutton captured the title for his efforts to fight blood cancer by raising funds and awareness for the Tennessee Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during a 10-week campaign that kicked off in February. Hutton, with the full support of his team at 104-5 The Zone, raised a total of $152,499.31 for the cause during the 10-week fund drive, which included an off-the-record event with Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, a HORSE-style basketball tournament, a Masters-themed golf competition at Top Golf, and a chalk talk draftee breakdown and dinner with NFL Films’ Greg Cosell. 

This year, five men and five women vied for Man and Woman of the Year honors, raising more than $577,000 for the local non-profit. Fellow honoree, Abbie Hendry-Hammett was named 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year for the Tennessee Chapter. Hutton and Hendry-Hammett were announced as top fundraisers and honored as Man and Woman of the Year at a finale event held at Nashville’s City Winery on Saturday, April 27th.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. 

 Kenneth Adams (Titans Ownership Group), Eddie George (Former Titan), Logan Ryan (Current Titan), Jonathan Hutton, Amy Adams Strunk (Titans Controlling Owner), John McClain (Houston Chronicle/WGFX Analyst), Blaine Bishop (Former Titan/WGFX Morning Show Host), Kevin Byard (Current Titan), David Quesenberry (Current Titan).

Allison Warren, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Nashville, said: “I and our entire Cumulus Nashville family could not be more proud of Jonathan Hutton and the team that supported him. I am in awe of the sheer volume of events, programs and features he and his team created and executed flawlessly in a 10-week period raising an impressive amount of money. Many of our 104-5 The Zone listeners and clients supported Jonathan fiercely and to that I'd say we have the best listeners and clients.” 

Brad Willis, Program Director, WGFX-FM/Titans Radio, Cumulus Nashville, said: “We are incredibly proud of Jonathan’s efforts throughout this campaign. Our listeners supported his campaign, and turned out in great numbers for every event. We have phenomenal listeners, and greatly appreciate their contributing to a great organization like LLS.” 

Hutton said: “This was a team effort and it started with the listeners of 104-5 The Zone and Midday 180. Every dollar donated mattered, and our listeners stepped up and then some. Thanks to everyone who joined TeamHutton1045 to help LLS of Tennessee. Those dollars represent hope, awareness, support, and a future cure. Beating cancer is in our blood.”

Down Under: Radio, Smart Speakers Clear Audio Winners

More Australians than ever are using online audio services, and are now consuming audio online for more than eleven hours per week. These are two of the many findings from The Infinite Dial 2019 Australia, a comprehensive study of digital media behavior in Australia, released today by Edison Research, the leading provider of high-quality survey research about audio in the U.S. and worldwide.

The Australian Infinite Dial Study was commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) via their PodcastOne subsidiary, and Triton Digital, the global technology and services provider to the digital audio and podcast industries.  This marks the third annual release of the study in Australia, and the continued expansion of The Infinite Dial, the longest running survey of digital media consumer behavior in U.S.  The survey is a high-quality telephone survey of all Australians ages 12 and over, designed to represent the nation’s population.  The results were first made public at the Mumbrella Audioland conference in Sydney on May 2, 2019 in a keynote speech by Edison president Larry Rosin.

A free, live webinar of the full results of The Infinite Dial Australia 2019 will be presented on May 8, 9:00 pm ET/May 9, 11:00 am AEST.  To register, Click Here.

Many streaming services saw significant year-over-year growth in awareness of their brands in Australia.  This year’s survey shows that 85% of Australians are now aware of Spotify, compared to 77% in 2018, and 83% are aware of Apple Music, up from 75% in 2018. In addition, the study found that Amazon Music and Google Play are also widely known and  SoundCloud posted awareness from 42% of Australians.

In addition to those who have used online audio in the last week, time spent listening to audio online has increased once again, with Australians averaging over 11 hours per week, compared to that of 2018 where the average time spent listening to online audio was just over 10 hours.

The 2019 study found that awareness of podcasting  in Australia continues to outpace what is seen in the United States, as 83% of Australians are familiar with of podcasting compared to 70% of Americans. The portion of Australians who have listened to a podcast in the last month grew from 18% to 22% in 2019.

Smart speaker ownership has nearly tripled since last year, with 13% of Australians age 12+ now owning one of these devices, up from 5% in 2018.

“The study shows that audio in Australia is the same kind of dynamic space we see in America,” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin.  “Australian radio retains a large audience while streaming and podcasting continue to grow and new devices create new opportunities.”

Other key Infinite Dial Australia findings include:
  • Radio is the leading audio platform consumed by Australians with 83% of people age 12+ having listened to an AM/FM or DAB+ station in an average week.
  • Radio is the choice for in-car listening, with 85% of people age 18+ having listened to AM/FM/DAB+ radio in the car in the last month. Sixty-nine percent of Australians use AM/FM/DAB+ radio as the audio source they use most often in-car.
Larry Rosin
An average of six podcasts are listened to each week by those who are weekly podcast listeners.
“The online audio and podcast industry in Australia is primed for continuous growth, as demonstrated by the gradual increase in reported consumption year over year,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital.  “The ongoing proliferation of smart speaker ownership and streaming on mobile devices will undoubtedly play a meaningful role in the continuous growth of these mediums across the region.”

The Infinite Dial 2019 Australia study was conducted in the first quarter of 2019 and uses a nationally representative survey of 1,021 people.  The sample is a random probability telephone sample, comprising of both mobile phones and landlines, of all Australians ages 12 and older. The data is weighted to 12+ population figures.

NOLA Newspapers To Merge

New Orleans Advocate owners John and Dathel Georges have purchased The Times-Picayune and its website from Advance Local, which is owned by Advance Local Media, LLC.

The Advocate will publish a seven-day, home-delivered newspaper in New Orleans using the brands and features of both publications. The new paper will debut in June. The two papers’ websites will be merged under the brand around the same time.

While The Times-Picayune was not for sale, the Georges and Advance Local agreed after recent discussions that this transaction presented the best course to preserve the quality of journalism that both news organizations are known for, and better serve the New Orleans community now and in the future.

“New Orleans has never lost its love for a daily newspaper,” John Georges said. “I want to thank Advance Local for working with us to ensure a strong print and online news company for years to come.”

“Advance Local is very reluctant to leave New Orleans, our talented employees and loyal readers and advertisers,” said Randy Siegel, CEO of Advance Local. “But we are confident that The Advocate will continue our history of excellent local journalism and community service.”

The Advocate will be expanding its New Orleans news, advertising and circulation staff by hiring from current and Times-Picayune employees and will increase its coverage of suburban communities, sports and arts and entertainment.

Capital City Press also publishes The Advocate in Baton Rouge and the Acadiana Advocate in Lafayette. It was already the state’s largest newspaper and its website, combined with, will reach more than 8 million viewers per month across the country. The new paper will be printed in Louisiana at The Advocate’s state of the art printing press.

Both Capital City Press and Advance Local are privately held. A purchase price was not disclosed.

Journalism Institute Promoting Left-Wing Smears

Poynter, the journalism institute which trains writers and reporters, has decided to promote a left-wing smear of conservative groups online.

According to Newsbusters, the result was a hit job written by someone who works for the anti-conservative Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization funded by prominent liberal billionaires, such as George Soros and Pierre Omidyar.

Poynter, which has started the International Fact-Checking Network, shared the new report and dataset called “UnNews,” declaring at least 29 right-leaning news outlets and organizations to be “unreliable news websites.”

Report author and SPLC producer Barrett Golding combined five major lists of websites marked “unreliable.” That result, which consisted of 515 names, included many prominent conservative sites: Breitbart,, Daily Signal, Daily Wire, Drudge Report, Free Beacon, Judicial Watch, LifeNews, LifeSiteNews, LifeZette, LiveAction News, the Media Research Center, PJ Media, Project Veritas, Red State, The Blaze, Twitchy, and the Washington Examiner.

Newsbusters reports SPLC has been dropped by Twitter from its Trust and Safety Council and slammed by the mainstream media after multiple scandals rocked the organization. Its hate map even helped shooter Floyd Lee Corkins find the location of the Family Research Council, where he shot and wounded five people.

Poynter is funded by Open Society Foundations, liberal billionaire George Soros’ massive foundations, as well as the Omidyar Network. The two combined for “$1.3 million in grant funding.” Funds were sent to Poynter specifically to establish the International Fact-Checking Network. The ‘UnNews’ list was started to help fact-checking organizations determine what was “unreliable.”